A MUSIC festival has again hit the high notes by attracting the stars of the UK and European jazz scene to a North-East cultural centre.

The fourth Ushaw Jazz Festival took place at the weekend, starting on Friday with a free performance by the Early Bird Big Band, playing under the leadership of festival director Paul Edis.

They were followed by Emma Fisk’s Hot Club Du Nord, bringing to life the classic 1930s and 40s repertoire of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli.

The Northern Echo:

Performances continued on Saturday and Sunday at Ushaw, on the outskirts of Durham. They included Toni Kofi and The Organisation as well as BBC Young Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole playing alongside “prodigiously talented” Durham-born guitarist Francis Tulip and his quintet.

Sunday’s programme included a performance by Zoe Gilby, who was recently nominated in the prestigious All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

The festival was brought to a climax with great swing trumpeter Buck Clayton, with two members of his Legacy Band flying in from Europe especially for the Durham event.

The Northern Echo:

Festival director Paul Edis said: “We felt there was more diversity in the line-up this year and there’s no doubt that the festival is now being taken seriously. It was fantastic to play to such appreciative audiences and, hopefully, the festival will continue to grow.”